No Major Effect

Paulo Sotero – The Cipher Brief, 08/05/2016

The Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro – starting today – had the potential to boost Brazil’s international image. Director of the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute and Brazil native, Paulo Sotero, tells The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder that this was always an exaggeration. However, he says the Games are somewhat of a missed opportunity.

TCB: If the Olympic Games in Brazil go well – that is, if there are no major security breaches and if the competitions run smoothly – what will this do for Brazil’s international image? And, conversely, if the Games don’t go well, what will be the effect?

Paulo Sotero: I think in either scenario it will not have a major effect. If things go reasonably well, people will understand that this is what happens in major sporting events globally. Before, there’s always a tendency to exaggerate or highlight the negatives: that the country’s not ready, that the venues will not be ready in time, and that the country has various negative aspects. And then, when you come closer to the events, people realize that what needed to be ready was, in fact, ready.

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As ISIS Posts in Portuguese, U.S. and Brazil Bolster Olympics Security

Simon Romero, Michael S. Schmidt – 08/01/2016

Worried about possible terrorist attacks at theOlympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s government is working closely with American law enforcement and intelligence services to identify threats and thwart potential disasters at the Games.

Despite its notorious battles with violent crime, Brazil has largely been spared the kind of brazen terrorist attacks that have rattled much of the world in recent years, with Brazilian officials long playing down the nation’s vulnerability to homegrown extremism.

But jihadists are calling for mayhem at the Olympics, building on a wave of killings in Europe, the United States and elsewhere over the last year, including the massacre of 130 people in Paris and “lone wolf” attacks inspired by the Islamic State, that has raised broad fears about Brazil’s security preparations for the Games.

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Olympics meant to showcase Brazil’s emergence, now spotlight its collapse

Andrew O’Reily – Fods News Latino, 08/02/2016

Seven years ago when Brazil’s then-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced that Rio de Janeiro would host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games on the city’s famed Copacabana beach, there was the feeling in the air that something momentous was about to happen in the South American nation.

Lula promised Brazilians that the Olympics and the 2014 World Cup would showcase the country as an emerging power on the world stage that could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of the United States, Western Europe and Russia.

For Brazil, he suggested that day in 2009, the sky was the limit.

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Dilma Rousseff Impeachment: How Did it Go Wrong For Her?

Daniel Gallas – BBC, 05/12/2016

It was only a year and a half ago that 54.5 million Brazilians went to the polls to re-elect Dilma Rousseff in one of the world’s largest democratic elections.

She defeated a centre-right coalition of parties by a narrow margin and earned a mandate to carry on the legacy of the centre-left Workers’ Party, which has been governing Brazil since 2003.

But now she has been suspended from office and is to stand trial, accused of manipulating the government budget. And she faces the real possibility of being removed from power in six months.

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Businesses Signal Approval of Brazil Leadership Change

Rogerio Jelmayer – The Wall Street Journal, 05/12/2016

Businesses and investors are cheering the new leadership in Brazil following the suspension of President Dilma Rousseff, who many blame for a deep recession and crumbling finances in Latin America’s largest economy.

Vice President Michel Temer, who officially will replace Ms. Rousseff later Thursday as she steps down to face an impeachment trial, is expected to quickly propose measures to cut spending and rein in entitlements.

Mr. Temer could reduce the number of government ministries — more than 30 exist now — and the potential leader of his economic team is looking to tame budget deficits. These measures aim to shrink a massive budget deficit and restore investor confidence.

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Brazil’s Rousseff set to Bow Out After Senate Votes to Put her on Trial

Anthony Boadle, Maria Carolina Marcello – Reuters, 05/12/2016

Brazil’s Senate voted on Thursday to put leftist President Dilma Rousseff on trial in a historic decision brought on by a deep recession and a corruption scandal that will now confront her successor, Vice President Michel Temer.

With Rousseff to be suspended during the Senate trial for allegedly breaking budget rules, the centrist Temer will take the helm of a country that again finds itself mired in political and economic volatility after a recent decade of prosperity.

The 55-22 vote ends more than 13 years of rule by the left-wing Workers Party, which rose from Brazil’s labor movement and helped pull millions of people out of poverty before seeing many of its leaders tainted by corruption investigations.

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Questions and Answers on Brazil’s Presidential Crisis

Vinod Sreeharsha – The New York Times, 05/12/216

Q. Why is Dilma Rousseff facing impeachment proceedings?

She is charged with violating budgetary laws in order to conceal a deficit before what she anticipated would be a tough 2014 re-election campaign, borrowing money from banks that the executive branch controls to fund domestic programs, and making changes to the federal budget without congressional approval.

Q. What did the Senate vote on?

The Senate voted on whether to start a trial of Ms. Rousseff. Last week, a Senate committee formally presented charges against her when it approved a document detailing the accusations.

Q. What exactly are those charges?

Ms. Rousseff is accused of violating Articles 85 and 167 of Brazil’s 1988 Constitution and the 1950 Law of Impeachment in making changes to the budget without congressional authorization. She is also accused of violating the Constitution and the same 1950 law in borrowing money from an institution that the state controls.

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